Cowboys + Gauchos is a Carnivore and Wine Lover Paradise


Boar's Head at Cowboys + GauchosHundreds of hungry Texans filled the grounds of the Salt Lake Pavilion on Sunday, February 24, for the Wine & Food Foundation of Texas’ third annual Cowboys + Gauchos. It was fantastic event featuring whole roasted antelope, wild boar, goat and lamb as well as dozens of wine from Texas, Uruguay and Argentina. Check out my previous story on What Are You Drinking?

Here are a few of the scenes from the event.

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Craft Pride Brings Texas Craft Beer to Rainey Street

Craft Pride on Rainey StreetJust when you thought that every beer-soaked square inch of Rainey Street was occupied by a bar, another one squeezes into the scene. The newest entrant to the red hot bar district is Craft Pride, a Texas tap room that will start pouring craft brews at its grand opening on Thursday, February 28.

Husband and wife team JT and Brandy Egli are introducing 54 taps and two cask engines all pouring Texas-made craft brews in a remodeled house at 61 Rainey, next to Javelina.

It takes a little more than a big selection of beer to draw attention among the bars on Rainey Street, something that this team knows well. The Eglis designed Craft Pride with serious attention to detail, aspiring to make it the perfect beer den for Texas craft brew lovers.

“One thing absolutely necessary is for people to be comfortable. All the seats inside are cushioned. Even the big octagon outdoor picnic tables are comfortable,” says Brandy. Craft Pride will offer table service on its back patio and all bar service inside and on the front porch. The back patio also sports two stages for live music.

Craft Pride owners Brandy and JT EgliOf course the real draw is the beer, with a regular rotating supply of staples from 18 Texas breweries as well as seasonal and special beers. “We will serve proper pours in proper glassware. Craft Pride is using 20 ounce Imperial pint style glasses so we can pour a 16 ounce beer and leave room for a two-inch head,” JT says. “It’s a Texas sized pour. It looks great and lets you smell the beer. And we are offering flights of five four-ounce pours. Most places only give you four pours. Ours are Texas sized flights.”

The beer-focused design also extends to the cooler and a new draft system that features short lines from the cooler right behind the tap wall, so the beer is as fresh as possible from the keg to the glass. They redesigned the old house with the intent of getting as much beer as possible in the space by building up instead of building out.

“I think we may have the only two-story walk-in beer cooler in the country. It lets us get more beer and keep more space to accommodate guests,” JT explains.

In addition to the large selection of beer on tap, Craft Pride will also sell beer to go in its retail space called Bottle Shop. While the taps are all Texas, Bottle Shop will carry some non Texas beers like domestic IPAs and Belgian Ales.

Chris Booth, a Cicerone Certified beer expert formerly of Black Star Co-op and Bangers will make sure Craft Pride has a constant supply of the very best craft beers, while keeping service up to snuff. “We are fortunate to have Chris. He is committed to serving the absolute best beer and taking care of customers,” JT says.

Craft Pride will have 54 beers on tap and 2 cask enginesTo soak up all of those suds, Reid Reynolds, owner of Bacon Restaurant, will have a Bacon Bus parked in the back serving an ever changing menu with several items from the restaurant. Burgers, chicken and waffles, as well as a full family of pork — pulled pork, pork belly and pig wings — will be served alongside healthier options like salads, a black bean burger and grilled cheese. “Who doesn’t want to drink great beer and eat great bacon?” Reynolds asks.

The name Craft Pride reflects the couple’s love of all things craft, beyond just beer. The design of the bar reflects their appreciation of hand-crafted elements, using unique materials and architectural elements. The main bar, side bars and some tables are made from one monstrous Live Oak branch. All of the long leaf pine and curly pine on the interior wall is made of wood from the original house.

There is even a hand-made light fixture in the shape of an alpha acid molecule, the agent in hops that gives beer is edgy bitterness. “Architect Ryan Reynolds Design did a great job incorporating the original space with the feel we were looking for. The Historical Society even approved of it,” says JT.

For the grand opening on February 28, Craft Pride will be tapping special kegs and casks from (512) Brewing Co.Adelbert’s BreweryAustin BeerworksDeep Ellum Brewing Co., Hop’s & GrainJester King Craft BreweryRanger Creek and Real Ale Brewing Company.

Craft Pride plans to host new brewery launch parties as well “Meet the Brewers” nights soon after opening.

This story was first published on CultureMap.

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Cowboys + Gauchos showcases Texan and Southern American cuisine at Salt Lick Pavilion

Nothing is more quintessentially Texan than the cowboy. This Sunday, February 24, cowboy culture from Texas and South America will be on display in all its finery at the Salt Lick Pavilion at Cowboys + Gauchos, an event hosted by the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas.

From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., the public is invited to don boots and cowboy hats, while feasting on antelope, lamb and wild boar that have been roasted whole over open fires. There will be plenty of wine from more than a dozen Texan and Uruguayan wineries to wash it down. I have to say this is definitely one of my favorite food and wine events of the year. There is a sick amount of excellent food, the location is incredibly chill and the people are in a great mood. Check out my photos from last year’s event.

In its third year, Cowboys + Gauchos brings together several prominent chefs to show off impressive traditional Texan and Southern American cooking techniques, such as roasting whole animals on giant iron rigs. The event was inspired by Francis Mallmann’s book Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way, and brought to life by Wine & Food Foundation of Texas Board Member, Howard Kells.

Roast pig at Cowboys + GauchosKells was fascinated by the concept of bringing together Texas and South American barbecue and wines in an outdoor event. He successfully built his own enormous iron grilling structure, patterned after Mallmann’s, and has cooked  a whole calf and whole elk at past Cowboys + Gauchos events.

This year guests will feast on South Texas Nilgai Antelope from Broken Arrow Ranch, lambs and a wild boar from IO Ranch and South Texas style cabrito prepared by Chef Jack Gilmore (Jack Allen’s Kitchen). The mouth-watering spectacle of roast meats continues with pork bellies from El Chile, beef tongue cooked by El Alma and various other treats from Café Josie, Fore, Live Oak Barbecue, Estancia Churrascaria and Sentelli’s Sweets.

Game guide and outdoor chef, Christopher “Tink” Pinkard, will roast a 100 pound pig. “I will start cooking my pig at 4 a.m. on my portable Cuban-style grill using mesquite for heat and pecan for smoke. Before cooking it I’ll brine the pig in a mixture of salt, sugar and water for 72 hours, which keeps it nice and moist,” says Pinkard. He recommends Pinot Noir or Cabernet to pair with his boar, but acknowledges beer is a great choice, too. “I can’t cook those pigs for eight to 10 hours without a beer.”

Live music and wineries will ensure a festive scene in the pavilion. Guest can try a selection of wine from Texas wineries such as Cap Rock Winery, David Mayfield Selections, Duchman Family Winery, Fall Creek Vineyards, Flat Creek Estate Winery, Hye Meadow Winery, Pedernales Cellars, Spicewood Vineyards and William Chris Vineyards. This year there will also be five wineries from Uruguay on hand including Juanico Famila Deicas, Gimenez Mendez Eco Valley Wines, Pizzorno Wines Don Pascual, Bodega Bouza and Bodega Marichal.

Gary Knippa at Cowboys + Gauchos“This is the first time that so many Uruguayan wines have been assembled in one place to be tasted in the U.S. Guests at Cowboys + Gauchos will be the first people in Texas to taste them. It is a great event for Uruguayan wines because the gaucho culture is prevalent in the country,” says David Furer, the Wines of Uruguay spokesman and wine journalist.

“Wineries will pour up to 20 various wines including Sauvignon Blanc, which is [an] up-and-coming white wine in Uruguay, along with Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Merlot and Syrah. Of course there will be a prevalence of Tannat, which is the signature grape of Uruguay. It makes a full bodied wine that goes well with rich grilled and barbecue red meat.”

Tickets are available on Wine & Food Foundation of Texas site for $65 per person. Proceeds from the event will support up-and-coming chefs, sommeliers and excellence in the culinary and viticulture arts through scholarships and the underwriting of the TexSom beverage conference.

This story was originally on CultureMap.

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